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Rural Medicine Interest Longitudinal Mentorship

The Rural Medicine Interest Longitudinal Mentorship introduces medical students and residents to the diverse and rewarding opportunities of rural medical practice in British Columbia. Students attend semi-monthly meetings to hear from and develop relationships with an array of guest speakers, including rural general practitioners and specialists, and discover the breadth of rural practice.


Fostered Mentorship Relationships with Medical Students 

The Mentorship project continued building relationships with medical students and educating them about the benefits and opportunities of rural practice. In pursuing this we held four evening sessions with medical students—3 in-person, with a hybrid option, and one virtual. Each session consisted of a presentation on a universally relevant topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. These sessions helped build mentorship-style relationships with medical students and, in time, are expected to improve rural physician recruitment and retention.

In 2023 the project was additionally involved in the in-person orientation in Vancouver for the incoming undergraduate medical student cohort for all UBC sites in August. This was an opportunity to make connections with the incoming students and to speak about the rewards and opportunities of rural practice. 

Fostered Mentorship Relationships Between Medical Students and Rural Physicians 

One of the sessions enabled the building of relationships with medical students and practicing rural physicians. In one session Rural Physicians from Vanderhoof were able to meet with students and had an opportunity to share their lived experience in rural practice. This served to help broaden student understanding of the diversity of rural practice with the ambition of improving recruitment to rural communities. 

Extending Our Program Beyond the Students in the Northern Medical Program   

We reconnected with the family medicine interest group from the Vancouver Fraser site and enjoyed the opportunity to chair an information session with interested medical students and various rural physicians. These early connections help foster trust-based, long-term relationships and provides an opportunity, and sounding board, to discuss ideas for improving rural practice. The interest group continues to participate in a weekend shadowing initiative supported by REAP.

Additional connections were made with a second-year resident from the Kootenay Boundary site and a fourth-year medical student from the Kelowna site for the possibility of engaging students from the southern medical program in Kelowna. Both are interested and we are awaiting a meeting with RCCbc to see how this relationship might develop.

Plans for the Future

In 2024 the program will look to growth and bringing in additional partners to foster an expansion of this work. The Northern Interior Rural Division of Family Practice has continued to participate as an observer and has expressed interest in taking on a larger role.

Team Members

Click on a team member to explore which other projects they have contributed to in the past year.

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